March 24, 2021–Missouri Western State University will keep its COVID-19 safety measures in place, including its requirement that face coverings be worn.
The City of St. Joseph’s emergency order mandating the wearing of masks ended at midnight March 23, leaving it up to businesses and organizations to decide. Missouri Western will continue to require that face coverings be worn over the mouth and nose in all indoor public spaces, including classrooms and hallways, and in outdoor spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
“I’ve said several times over the past few weeks that there are reasons for hope, including the recent drop in the number of cases on campus and in the community, the low number of local hospitalizations and the growing availability of vaccines. Despite these grounds for optimism, there are also many reasons to remain cautious,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kennedy, Missouri Western’s president, in an email message to campus. “While some members of our Griffon family have been vaccinated, many are not yet eligible. Only 12 percent of Missouri residents have been vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in the nation. Additionally, variants of the COVID-19 virus have developed, leading to surges in other parts of the country and around the globe.”
Missouri Western’s COVID-19 Response Team will continue to monitor several factors in recommending changes to campus safety measures, including the number of cases on campus, in St. Joseph and in the surrounding region; the availability and distribution of vaccines in the community; and the effect of new variants on the spread of the disease.
Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu.